Canada: Suncor expansion approved

The Alberta Energy and Utilities Board has approved plans for Suncor Energy Inc. to expand its oil sands upgrading facilities in order to increase production capacity to 330,000 barrels per day by late 2007. Plans for the upgrader expansion, which were approved by regulators this past week, include constructing a pair of coke drums, a sulphur recovery plant and other crude oil processing equipment at Suncor’s existing oil sands facility, located near Fort McMurray, Alberta. The cost of the project, which is preliminary and subject to change, is currently estimated at USD 1.5 billion. To feed the expanded upgrader, Suncor also plans to spend an estimated additional USD 1.5 billion to boost bitumen production at the company’s in-situ and mining/extraction facilities. Both projects are components of Suncor’s growth strategy – a multiphase plan to increase production to between 500,000 and 550,000 barrels per day by 2010 to 2012. Suncor announced its plans in 2001.

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